Mechnikov, a Russian zoologist, best known for his pioneering research in immunology, showed that eating curd is very healthy, since it introduces helpful bacteria like lactobacillus, and bifidia. He called fermented milk a food that contains organisms which help the host body digest food, gain immunity and lengthen life. For this path- breaking discovery, Mechnikov shared the Nobel Prize in 1908.
Molecules in curd, produced by microbial digestion of milk, such as lactic and other related ones help us in our growth, even as these microbes feed on the products that we make.
When we eat cereals and lentils (rice, wheat, barley, various grams and lentils), we do not digest all their contents. Some indigestible starch remains. It is these that our gut microbes feast and forage on. And what they produce upon metabolizing this resistant starch is useful for us.
We have come to realize that the human gut (gastro-intestinal or GI tract) is teeming with microbes. This number is at least 10 times more than the total number of cells that our own body has! In other words, 90 per cent of the total cells contained in each of us are actually bacterial cells – 500 different varieties of them living in a stable, nutrient- rich medium.
Curd helps in digestion and absorbing nutrients from other foods. It helps strengthen the immune system.
It helps reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
Curd is especially helpful for those who are lactose intolerant.
Curd is rich in phosphorus and calcium and hence helps get strong bones and teeth. It also prevents osteoporosis.